Derby Homes has recently appointed a Fire Safety Officer responsible for any fire related issues within Derby Homes properties, this includes:
- Fire risk assessments Derby Homes’ offices and the common areas of all our blocks of flats
- Assisting with the preparation of fire emergency plans
- Fire and building regulations for new build properties
- Practical and technical fire training for our members of staff
- Liaison officer with the fire service
- Co-ordinating with responsible persons in order to rectify fire safety issues.
- Giving fire safety advice to Housing Officers regarding issues that need a more in depth answer.
Derby Homes are working in partnership with Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS) to provide the best service for our tenants and leaseholders.
- Housing officers receive training on how to conduct home fire safety checks from DFRS
- In some cases we carry out joint home fire safety checks with DFRS.
- We have just purchased ten portable misting systems that the fire service have installed in properties that have vulnerable people living there this then allows DFRS to purchase some more to be used within the county.
- All new build properties will be fitted with a sprinkler system.
- Derby Homes is also fitting sprinklers in some of our older properties that have vulnerable tenants living there.
- Each tenant should receive a home fire safety check within three months of moving in.
Please contact us if you require any help or advice.
General fire safety advice
- Remember to test your smoke alarms ideally once a week.
- Do not leave litter, bikes, pushchairs or other items in the common areas of flats.
- All of our flats operate a ‘stay put’ policy. Where if there is a fire in your property you leave the property and call the fire service. If the fire is not in your property you should remain in your flat unless advised to leave by the fire service or you feel at risk. Each flat is designed to hold back a fire for up to one hour where it will have been dealt with by the fire service or burned out.
- Plan with your family how you would get out if there was a fire in your home if you are less than 4.5 meters above ground then you should have an escape window on the first floor. Ensure you know how to open it and that the area below is kept clear, if you have to use this way out then hang by your arms first to reduce the height - do not just jump out.
- Keep a torch handy in case of power cuts and check it works on a regular basis.
- When parking consider if an emergency vehicle will able to get through or are you parked over a fire hydrant. These are usually marked FH on the lid in the road or path and identified by a wall plate which has a yellow background with a black ‘H’. See example below.
The numbers on the bottom of the ‘H’ tells you how far away from the plate the fire hydrant is in meters. These plates are normally attached to walls, lamp posts or signposts.
Specific fire safety advice
- If you live in a block of flats and decide to replace your front door then you must replace the whole door set with a door set that provides 30 minutes fire resistance and fitted with cold smoke seals and a self- closing device. This is to protect the means of escape from the building.
- A fire in one of our properties that started in a drying machine in the utility room adjacent to the kitchen was made worse by the fact that the kitchen door had been removed allowing smoke to travel throughout the building causing smoke damage to all the rooms in the house had this happened at night then the outcome could have been much worse as the stairs would be unusable due to smoke and heat.
- A shed that had electrics fitted to it running from a plug socket in the house and powering a fridge and microwave caught fire due to an electrical fault the shed was approximately two meters from the building the fire spread from the shed to the building through the broken kitchen window which had been broken by heat of the fire. The fire also causing damage to the neighbour’s windows.
Things to consider
- You need to get permission from Derby Homes to remove any doors and consider what the impact would be if you had a fire. (Section 4.2 of the tenancy agreement)
- Night time routine of closing all doors especially those downstairs will give you a greater escape time if a fire should happen.
- Consider carefully where you want to place your shed; six meters or more will reduce the chance of the fire spreading to adjacent properties.
- Any electrical work must be carried out by a fully qualified electrician; Derby Homes must give you permission to do the work. (Section 5 of the tenancy agreement)
- These incidents could have been a lot worse if the residents had been at home and asleep, due to smoke entering the building.